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Doctoral FAQs

Post-Master’s DNP

Will students in the Post-Master’s DNP be granted a DNP degree a specialty area?
No our Post-Master’s DNP will be more focused on practice innovation and will have a more generalist curriculum.
If I’ve taken certain classes in my MSN program, whether at Penn or elsewhere, can they count towards credits for the DNP?
Only up to two courses may be transferred after a gap analysis to determine if the courses qualify.
What preparation do I need to be eligible to apply for the DNP Program?

The DNP was designed for graduates of a nursing master’s degree (MS in Nursing, MSN or MN).

Is the program full-time or part-time?
While we expected most students to complete the program part-time, full-time option is available.  Courses will have to be taken over the summer for all students.
Is the program offered online?
While the majority of our courses are offered on campus, we are continuing to develop online version of our course offerings.
How many courses are required to complete the program?
11 courses are required to complete our Post Master’s DNP program.
Are interviews required for admission?
All completed applicants will be reviewed holistically by the Admissions Committee. Competitive applicants will be offered an admissions interview with faculty. All individual applicants will be notified by the Admissions Committee if they have been selected for an admissions interview by email.
Are there funding options for the DNP?
Private fellowships are not available, but you may apply for federal aid.
When is the application deadline?
January 2, 2019
What is the difference between a DNP and a PhD?


  • Purpose - Prepares expert clinical scholars to perform direct clinical practice, translate, disseminate and integrate evidence-based research into clinical practice and improve quality of health outcomes for individuals, populations and systems.
  • Curricular Content:
    • Advanced clinical practice
    • Clinical scholarship skills
    • Technology used in practice
    • Analysis of clinical outcomes
    • Evidence-based practice
    • Leadership role development
    • Rural and underserved populations
  • Clinical Requirements - No
  • Research Requirements – No
  • Final Product – Project based
  • Types of Jobs:
    • APRN in a variety of healthcare settings
    • Academic faculty position which includes practice, education, and service roles
    • Leadership positions in health care organizations, industry, government agencies
    • Evidence-based Practice Coordinator
    • Outcomes Manager
    • Magnet Coordinator
    • Quality Improvement Director



  • Prepares nurse scientists to conduct research, develop the scholarship needed to advance the body of nursing knowledge, guide the practice of nursing, assume leadership in nursing and health care organizations, and participate in the development of social and health policy
  • Curricular Content –
    • Methods and theories used to guide research
    • Grant writing skills
    • Technology used in research
    • Statistical & other analytical methods
    • Research traditions & methodologies
    • Faculty role development
    • Cognate areas of interest to guide research
  • Clinical Requirements – No
  • Research Requirements - Faculty guided research residency hours working on an established research project(s) to hone selected research skills
  • Final Product - Original research project that makes a significant contribution to the science of nursing
  • Types of Jobs:
    • Academic faculty position which includes research, education, and service roles
    • Research Scientist for healthcare organizations, industry or government agencies
    • Principal Investigator on extramural research grants
    • Leadership positions in health organizations, industry and government agencies
    • Government advisor on health policy

DNP-Nurse Anesthesia

What is the experience I need to apply to the DNP Nurse Anesthesia program at the University of Pennsylvania?

You must have at least 1 year of ICU/critical care experience (post-orientation) working with the most ill patients. Our most competitive applicants usually have more than one year.

What is the minimum GPA for acceptance?

We have a very holistic admissions process. All parts of your application will be considered. However, we do recommend that your science GPA be at least a 3.0 or higher.

When will I be able to start the DNP Nurse Anesthesia program?

Due to the demand of DNP Nurse Anesthesia program, we are admitting students into the program at least 2-years in the future.


How many are accepted to the PhD program at Penn Nursing?

Approximately 6-12 applicants are accepted each year.

How can I get more information on the research faculty are doing for my application?
The PhD application is about looking at faculty’s research interests and how they align with yours. In your application, you should highlight these connections. Please find our faculty’s research interests here.

Is there a clinical component?


When would I matriculate into the program?

You would matriculate in the fall semester, and it typically takes 3-5 years to complete the program.

When is the deadline to apply?

The deadline is December 1st. Please find all application deadlines here.